A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
After a nice Caulfield jumpout on Tuesday morning local horseman Ciaron Maher named either the 2015 Rosehill Guineas or the Vinery Stud Stakes as the early Group 1 aim this autumn for his Crown Oaks winning filly Set Square.
A daughter of Reset, the three-year-old had her first serious piece of work at the Tuesday morning hit-outs since winning the Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m) on November 6 during the spring in Melbourne.
It wasn’t the ideal start with the promising filly getting bumped soon after the jump, but she and jockey Michelle Payne quickly recovered.
Completing the 800m on the course proper Set Square settled midfield and was taken to the line without being pushed at the tail end of the field that came home behind runaway winner Nordic Empire from the Mick Price stables.
Maher was happy with what she showed and said all was on track ahead of the autumn.
“She wasn’t out there to do a hell of a lot this morning, we just wanted to get her a nice even trial, more like a track gallop and she pulled up well and seems fine,” he told Racing Victoria on Monday, Maher adding she would likely jump-out at the track again on February 17.
“She’ll probably have another jump-out here in a fortnight’s time and just a couple of gallops in between.
“I think she only had about five weeks in the paddock (after the Crown Oaks), she retained a lot of her fitness, so it’s just about tricking her over and keeping her in a good frame of mind.”
The Oaks was her third win on the trot and just her fourth career start, Set Square looking a very nice filly to watch then this Melbourne and Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
She’s yet to race in New South Wales but her easy one and a half-length victory in the Crown Oaks plus her nice work since has Maher confident in her ability this time in.
Her other most notable victory was a two length effort when sprinting away at Caulfield in the Listed Ethereal Stakes (2000m) 19 days before her big Oaks test that she passed with flying colours.
Maher has penciled in Blue Diamond Stakes Day for his filly’s return with Set Square likely to run first-up at home in the $200,000 Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield Racecourse.
There are then a couple of elite level aims being considered for her later during her autumn campaign.
The first is the $500,000 Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) in Sydney on Golden Slipper Day, March 21.
She could also however be saved a week later for a run over the same distance but against fillies-only in the $400,000 Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m), formerly the Storm Queen Stakes, also at Rosehill Gardens by on The BMW Day.
After that she look to become a dual Oaks champion across two states with the $1 million Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) at Randwick on April 11 in her sights.
Early ATC Oaks betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is led by John Thompson’s Flight Stakes winner First Seal ($5) with Set Square occupying the second line at $6.
“She will have three runs into the Oaks in Sydney, probably two in Melbourne and I guess she will run in the ‘old’ Vinery before the Oaks in Sydney,” Maher confirmed on TVN on Tuesday morning.
“She has certainly improved condition wise.
“To do what she did in the spring was quite amazing and she really is an exciting horse.”
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